“Have you heard of Scope Creep?
If you haven’t heard of it, there is a real chance you probably are doing it right now.
Scope creep is when scope of work expands outside of the original planned objectives.
In English …
“While you are doing that can I just get you to xyz”
“I thought that I would also get you to …”
Heard those comments before?
And you think “oh yeah, I can do that it makes sense for me to do that” and BAM – you have:
+ gone outside your contractual agreement
+ just devalued your services
+ devalued and decreased your rate
It’s HARD! Believe me, I know! I have had it happen and if I am honest need to catch myself from “just” doing those extra things for my clients.
Let me be honest with you – doing those extra things won’t matter at the end of the day. If anything, your client will respect you more for keeping them accountable and appreciate your work more.
Here are a couple of things I can give you to help manage scope creep:
1. Objectives/Schedule: For each of my clients I provide them with a schedule that outlines the objectives and scope of work that I will be doing for them. It includes their hourly rate and also includes information such as work times.
2. Priorities: Understand your client’s priorities – this will give you a good idea of how many hours you need to allocate to them
3. Ask clarifying questions: If your client gives you competing priorities or changes the goalposts, tell them. Eg: “Just to clarify, I am now dropping X priority as you want me to work on Y priority. Please advise”. You are not being arrogant, you are clarifying and managing their expectations.
4. Keep Track of Time: It is so important to keep an eye on your hours. Make sure you record EVERYTHING – if you don’t need it you can always delete it later, but it’s very hard to prove you are going above and beyond the original scope when you don’t have that proof!
5. Review: When it comes to a new client, I always offer and encourage a monthly review. I invoice my clients at the beginning of the month so when that first month rolls around, I invite them for a review. This provides us both with an opportunity to discuss what’s working and what improvements can be made, giving you the perfect opportunity to address any scope creep and anything that you need to nip in the bud.
Scope creep is a REAL thing and can affect your business in a big way.
Learning how to be comfortable with your clients to address is it paramount to moving forward in your business.